Here are five players the Cleveland Cavaliers should trade for.
Despite weeks of suggesting otherwise, I now agree that it’s time to make a trade. I thought the team could be fine with just a few minor moves, as Rajon Rondo could help carry the load for a lot of the play-making and the team has the rest of the pieces they need. To be clear, Rondo isn’t a game-breaker but he’s doing exactly what I thought he would; a solid passer and good defender. That’s what he was needed to be.
Yet, with the injuries to Darius Garland and Lauri Markkanen, it’s become obvious the Cavaliers are ill-prepared for what could happen to the team if they suffer any more injuries, or if they lose Garland or Markkanen again later in the year. Kevin Love is the team’s defacto second-scorer and would be first if he played more minutes. His PER 36 minutes have him averaging 23.7 points per game. Yet, he’s not a play-maker, and because of that, he’s dependent on his guards getting him the ball.
So the Cavs need another guard who can get the ball up the court and score.
They also need some more three-point shooting, as Cedi Osman has completely regressed as a three-point shooter; he shot just 28% from three over the last two months. While Osman is a fan favorite and has a unique skill set, the Cavaliers need three-point shooting as well. That doesn’t necessarily mean trade Osman, it just means getting some more three-point shooting for the bench.
Don’t expect a lot of heavy asset swaps here either. The Clippers trade of Norman Powell and Robert Convington for just Eric Bledsoe and Justice Winslow all bit set the trade market. Neither Bledsoe nor Winslow is all that good offensively and neither man provide any long-term impact on the Trail Blazers or their hopes to compete next season.
So the market won’t be very robust in returning assets.
Honorable Mention – Danilo Gallinari
Now I love Danilo Gallinari, but I don’t love his fit with the Cavs or his salary. This is an “if all else fails” type of scenario. Gallinari has played the three and four spot on the court before and he’s tailor-made to fill in for Lauri Markkanen as an offensive scorer in the starting lineup should Markkanen not be back anytime soon or get hurt again. Again, this isn’t a preferred option but if you have to make a move, Gallinari can provide some relief on the offensive side of things and you can get the deal done with just Ricky Rubio and the JaVale McGee trade exceptions.